CANNES — They say “When you are holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” But some at media measurement company Nielsen don’t necessarily think measurement is the solution to every brand problem.

Case in point – the company’s global head of analytics Matt Krepsik thinks brands should actually look beyond merely media measurement, and beyond counting existing audience members, to return to bringing in new audiences in the first place.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Krepsik issues a call-to-arms for getting back to brand-building.

“Over the past three to five years, we’ve focused on metrics, and metrics have been indispensable to helping ad brand advertisers drive accountability, drive transparency and drive clarity,” he says.

“However, those metrics have also made it easier to focus on short-term outcomes. That’s come at the expense of brand building. And brand building takes time.”

Many brands have taken advantage of the arsenal of digital tools available to develop sophisticates, data-enabled strategies that increasingly veer toward targeting consumers known to be in-market for a particular product.

And many publishers and intermediaries are now on-hand to price those ads based on known outcomes, like when an actual purchase occurs and can be attributed to an ad exposure.

But Krepsik thinks that more brands need to get back to building initial awareness.

“The biggest gap that a lot of brands see today, is they need to continue to nurture that upper funnel,” he says. “It’s not just about that last click, that last conversion and getting a customer once they’re already in the store.

“It’s about ensuring that your brand is in the consideration set. So before they go to the store, before they go to your website, before they engage at an automotive dealer or a bank or a financial institution, you want to make sure that your brand has that awareness.”

Krepsik says Nielsen has picked up know-how from service auto companies, whose products typically operate on a longer consume awareness-to-purchase cycle, and has been applying that timeline to things like financial services and consumer packaged goods.

He is telling a new generation of brands: “It’s not just about the next transaction, it’s actually the next five transactions, it’s in the next 10 purchases.

“It’s ‘how do we make sure our brand stays in the basket, our brand stays in the consideration set, and build that strong connection with this next generation of consumers?'”

This video is part of the Beet.TV series “Creativity & Data Meet at Cannes” presented by Nielsen.  For more segments from the series, please visit this page.  You can find all Beet.TV coverage of Cannes right here.

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